Arshdeep shot into prominence with his searing yorkers in IPL. Time and again, Punjab Kings asked Arshdeep to bowl the final overs in pressure situations and more often than not the youngster delivered.
The IPL performances saw Arshdeep being rewarded with his maiden India cap in the T20 International against in England in July this year. He has shown the same composure and nerve while bowling at the death for India as he has done in IPL.
Arshdeep missed the T20I series against Australia and spent time at the NCA for conditioning-related work. He returns for the T20I series against South Africa. With Bhuvneshwar Kumar missing this series, the youngster will be the preferred option to replace him in the playing XI. Being a left-arm seamer, Arshdeep also offers Indian bowling an extra dimension.
On the eve of the game, Arshdeep had a long bowl in the nets here at the Greenfield stadium on Tuesday. Between deliveries, he was seen having long conversations with India’s bowling coach Paras Mhambrey.
No wonder, the team management is speaking highly of the youngster. “The way he landed yorkers under extreme pressure in his first year of international cricket, it is not easy. He is a very smart guy and keeps things simple. We needed a left-arm seamer and he has done well in IPL and then he came here (into the India team) and has done well,” skipper Rohit had said of the Punjab pacer couple of weeks ago.
On Tuesday, it was batting coach Vikram Rathour’s turn to praise the youngster. “He has done well bowling in the death overs. There are no specific areas where we want him to improve. So far he has shown that he has the temperament and has the composure to handle pressure and bowl well in difficult conditions, We are very happy with the way he is progressing,” Rathour said.
The series against South Africa is crucial for Arshdeep. First and foremost, he can bowl alongside Jasprit Bumrah, a master at bowling yorkers, and can learn quite a lot from his senior pro. More importantly, if he does well against the Proteas, it will make for a strong case for his inclusion in the playing XI in the World T20 in Australia next month.